Facebook made changes that reduced time spent on the platform by 50 million hours every...

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in reporting the company’s fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial results on Wednesday reiterated his personal challenge from earlier this month – making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society.

Facebook in the fourth quarter generated $12.97 billion in revenue, or $1.44 per share after accounting for recent tax changes. By comparison, Facebook raked in $8.62 billion in the same three-month period a year earlier.

For the full year, Facebook brought in $39.94 billion, an increase of 49 percent year-over-year.

Daily active users sat at 1.4 billion on average in December 2017, up 14 percent compared to the same period a year ago, while monthly active users (the figure cited when discussing Facebook's overall user count) increased to 2.13 billion – again, an increase of 14 percent year-over-year. As TechCrunch highlights, daily active users climbed by just 2.18 percent in the quarter versus 3.8 percent in Q3. That’s the lowest quarter-over-quarter percentage growth of daily active users ever reported by Facebook.

As for that personal goal, Zuckerberg said they’re encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content. It’s a process that’s already unfolding as the social network is now showing fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent.

Thus far, he says, they’ve made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by rough 50 million hours each day. According to TechCrunch, that works out to a reduction of about 2.14 minutes per day, per user. It may not sound like much but when you’re in the online advertising game, that is a significant amount of time. It also could explain why daily active user growth slowed.

Such a move may seem counter-intuitive but according to Zuckerberg, Facebook’s community and business will be stronger over the long term by focusing on meaningful connections.

Lead image courtesy AP

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pawel04

TS Booster
Im all for this to be honest. Facebook turned into something I just didnt want to be a part of anymore, will monitor how these changes affect the platform. Measure may be counter-intuitive but for a company/CEO that is rolling around in cash, working on your corporate citizenship may, as stated, pay off in the long run.
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Im all for this to be honest. Facebook turned into something I just didnt want to be a part of anymore, will monitor how these changes affect the platform. Measure may be counter-intuitive but for a company/CEO that is rolling around in cash, working on your corporate citizenship may, as stated, pay off in the long run.
Agreed. Hours spent on something isn't a good measure of success. The quality of that time is more important. I think that Facebook saw people were starting to get social media overload by spending allot of time on the platform but not having the best time doing so.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Im all for this to be honest. Facebook turned into something I just didnt want to be a part of anymore, will monitor how these changes affect the platform. Measure may be counter-intuitive but for a company/CEO that is rolling around in cash, working on your corporate citizenship may, as stated, pay off in the long run.
Agreed. Hours spent on something isn't a good measure of success. The quality of that time is more important. I think that Facebook saw people were starting to get social media overload by spending allot of time on the platform but not having the best time doing so.
I also agree. I spend no time at all on fakebook, and if I can at all avoid it, I never will.

However, I cannot help but think that the only reason fakebook did this is that it reduces their server/hardware requirements. duck's statement makes for good press, however, I doubt that it has any connection at all to "making meaningful connections" between people on fakebook. To me, a "meaningful connection" on fakebook is the epitome of oxymorons.
 
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mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Im all for this to be honest. Facebook turned into something I just didnt want to be a part of anymore, will monitor how these changes affect the platform. Measure may be counter-intuitive but for a company/CEO that is rolling around in cash, working on your corporate citizenship may, as stated, pay off in the long run.
Agreed. Hours spent on something isn't a good measure of success. The quality of that time is more important. I think that Facebook saw people were starting to get social media overload by spending allot of time on the platform but not having the best time doing so.
I also agree. I spend no time at all on fakebook, and if I can at all avoid it, I never will.

However, I cannot help but think that the only reason fakebook did this is that it reduces their server/hardware requirements. duck's statement makes for good press, however, I doubt that it has any connection at all to "making meaningful connections" between people on fakebook. To me, a "meaningful connection" on fakebook is the epitome of oxymorons.
Yeah, someone probably identified an optimal amount of time they want someone to spend on the site to maximize revenue and minimize costs, and they began tweaking the rest of the algorithms to aim for this number.
 

Mighty Duck

TS Addict
I must be doing something right, I mean, I invest 0 hours on Facebook. It's like saying "I don't smoke", "I don't drink bear" or "I don't do drugs".
 
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